Top Ten

July 19, 2016

Lakehead Indigenous learning centre moves forward with $1M from ON

Lakehead University has received a $1M grant to help build a new facility devoted to increasing academic opportunities for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students. The funds issued by the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation will allow Lakehead to move into the design and engineering phase of the Gichi Kendaasiwin Centre, which will reportedly include classroom and meeting spaces, a gathering and performance space, and support services for Indigenous students and community members. “Lakehead takes pride in connecting our Indigenous students to the world,” said Lakehead President Brian Stevenson. “It is wonderful to see Ontario’s government appreciate and support our hard work with this investment.” CBC | ON | NationTalk | Lakehead

Recovering from industrial decline by looking to young entrepreneurs

A new entrepreneurship centre in Hamilton, Ontario is looking to recent postsecondary graduates to help the city recover after an extended period of industrial decline, reports Simona Chiose for the Globe and Mail. Chiose highlights the efforts of the Forge, an entrepreneurship centre that focuses primarily on supporting graduates of McMaster University and Mohawk College. “We’re giving students a bit of money where they will be able to take off,” explains Sean Van Koughnett, dean of students and associate vice-president of students and learning at McMaster. “And we said, ‘Let’s do it in Hamilton, so we are more likely to keep students who can contribute to the economy here.’” Globe and Mail

BC tech leaders ask province to address talent shortage with increased investment in PSE

Technology leaders in British Columbia are urging the provincial government to bolster BC’s IT talent pool through targeted investments in PSE, reports the Globe and Mail. The heads of 18 BC-based tech companies published an open letter to Premier Christy Clark last week stating that the only way to address a significant labour market shortage is to devote more resources to postsecondary training for IT professionals. The letter specifically asks for the province to invest $100M into the expansion of postsecondary IT programs, increase the number of co-op placements at postsecondary institutions, and promote awareness about job opportunities in the IT sector. Globe and Mail | Leader Post

Man matching description of MacEwan student confirmed dead after attack in Nice

A Ukranian man matching the description of a missing MacEwan University student was killed in last week’s attack in Nice, France, according to the Ukrainian Embassy in Ottawa. Mykhaylo (Misha) Bazelevskyy, a bachelor of commerce student and permanent resident of Canada, travelled to Nice with four other students and a faculty member to participate in a program at the European Innovation Academy. The other students and faculty member have all been reported safe. 

Postscript: MacEwan University has confirmed that one of its students was killed in last week's attack in Nice, France. “I know that everyone joins me in expressing our profound sympathy to Misha’s family at this terrible time,” said MacEwan President David Atkinson. “Misha will be deeply missed by his friends and family.”

CBC Globe and Mail | Guelph Mercury | MacEwan

A 34 year-old university president and the rise of millennial managers

A growing number of US millennials are already entering management roles in higher education, writes the Chronicle of Higher Education, and they do so “with critical eyes and ambitious visions.” The author notes that these Millennial managers often have perspectives that clash with those of employees who have worked at a particular institution for decades, and debates can emerge around concepts of proper communication, technology use, and even business hours. The article offers an illustration of this new trend in the example of Tashni-Ann Dubroy, the 34 year-old president of North Carolina’s Shaw University. Chronicle of Higher Education (Subscription Required)

WLU reaches tentative agreement with striking staff, receives union approval

Wilfrid Laurier University has reached an agreement with the union representing 110 striking custodial staff, groundskeepers, and tradespeople. A release from CUPE Local 926 states that the union has approved the new agreement, which has now been presented to the WLU board of governors for review and expected ratification sometime this week. The Record reports that a main source of disagreement between the parties was the university’s proposal to contract certain work to third-party, non-union workers. Details about the final agreement will only become public if and when it is approved by WLU’s board. The Record | CBC | CUPE Local 926 | WLU

Boost learning by cutting course loads for both instructors and students, say US profs

A conversation is building in the US around the issue of reducing course loads for both teacher and students to make more time for faculty-student mentoring, reports Inside Higher Ed. The article focuses on the example of Vassar College, where there is general faculty agreement around the benefits of reducing full-time faculty teaching workloads from five to four courses a year while adding a new student supervisory component. The article notes, however, that Vassar can only accomplish this goal with the same number of full-time professors by cutting course offerings as well, a proposition that has generated debate at the college and beyond. Inside Higher Ed

Fleming calls on diverse programs to construct new wetland

Fleming College will draw on skills from a number of distinct college programs to build a new wetland on its Frost Campus. A college release explains that students in the Heavy Equipment Operator program are currently building the groundwork for the wetland, while students from the Ecosystem Management and Fish and Wildlife programs will later perform planting and hydro seeding. Students from the Resources Drilling and Blasting and Forestry programs are also set to be involved in the project, while students from the School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences will study and learn from the wetland on an ongoing basis. The college will partner with Mason Homes to complete the project. Fleming

Science students look to digital communications to spread their research

“Scientists these days don’t just need to be good at putting their ideas into writing; they need to know how to post them on Twitter and Facebook,” writes Arielle Martinez for the Chronicle of Higher Education. The author writes that this claim is the premise of a new course at the California Institute of Technology titled “Social Media for Scientists,” which teaches both undergraduate and graduate students in science and engineering how to use digital communications technologies to communicate research to peers and to a broader public. Chemistry student Shannon Stone explains that the course has helped her write in a clearer and more engaging way, stating, “do I really need to use the word ‘elucidated,’ or can I just say ‘solved’? I feel like sometime we use complicated words just to sound smart.” Chronicle of Higher Education

Debate emerges on “trade-off” between serving good food and admitting low-income students in PSE

A postsecondary institution can only serve high-quality food at the expense of admitting fewer low-income students, according to bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell. Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed reports that the English-born Canadian journalist recently set off a debate when he contrasted the food services and accessibility rates of two US colleges on a podcast. Gladwell reportedly concluded the program by stating that Bowdoin College's choice to spend its budget on good food instead of admitting more low-income students is a “moral problem,” asking listeners not to attend Bowdoin and not to let their children attend. Jaschik notes, however, that Gladwell has been heavily questioned on social media about how he selects and interprets data. Inside Higher Ed